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Localization of the Insulin-sensitive Kv1.3 Ion Channel During Brain Development

Ion channels are membrane proteins that control neuronal activity. Kv1.3 is a specific ion channel that is sensitive to the hormone, insulin, suggesting that this channel may play a role in regulating metabolic function. The purpose of this Charles A. Dana Research Fellowship was to localize Kv1.3 ion channels in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain specialized in regulating energy homeostasis. These experiments confirmed that Kv1.3 is expressed in specific hypothalamic areas governing food intake and energy expenditure during development, suggesting a role for this channel in the early patterning of metabolic circuits. Overall, understanding the role of insulin-sensitive Kv1.3 channels in brain development may provide a target for therapeutic intervention for metabolic disorders such as diabetes and obesity.

Dana Research Fellowships
These fellowships, supported by endowed funds from the Charles A. Dana Foundation, are awarded to tenure-track faculty on a competitive basis to support research, creative, or scholarly projects.